Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage

Years ago, I watched this movie where the lead actor said,”You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” It was from the movie We Bought a Zoo.

Granted, it was the lead actor’s advice to his son about talking to a girl, but this could be used for so many areas of life. If we give ourselves just twenty seconds to try something different, to try something that will better our lives, something great might come of it.

Fear stands in our way of doing things that are better. We get caught up in the same responses, the same thought patterns, and the same old ways. We don’t think that if it isn’t working, then we should try something new.

I’m big on trying the opposite. It has made a huge difference in my life. When my child who has ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder starts reacting badly to discipline, that my other two children who don’t have those issues responded well to, I tried something different, the opposite. I was calm, spoke softly, and looked past his reaction to see what was truly bothering him. He was usually overwhelmed. He needed me to walk him through things to make it easier for him to comply with my demands. He wasn’t trying to disobey. He was overwhelmed.

When we have arguments with our loved ones, we often have them about the same things. We argue using the same words. We react in the same way. What if we stop all that same old, same old and try something different? What if we were calm and asked what is going on with our loved one? We might finally see something totally unexpected. Usually, we feel like we aren’t being heard or totally understood. Our loved ones usually feel the same.

Try twenty seconds of insane courage, and see the greatness that may come of it.




Fear can be a debilitating emotion. It can keep you stuck. It can keep paralyzed. It can cause a long list of responses, like anger, frustration, and panic to name a few. It can appear in your life in so many ways, too many to name, and it’s individualized. It changes from person to person.

I recently dealt with this in my life. I was afraid to try a new writing project because I didn’t know how people would response. This fear paralyzed me. I didn’t want to deal with the potential fallout. I didn’t want to hear negatives. I didn’t know what else could appear in my life by doing this particular project. Who would be angry? Who would treat me bad? Who would be hurt? It has held me back for a long time.

How do I move past this paralyzing situation?

I think I’ve figured it out. First, I’m borrowing trouble by worrying about things that actually haven’t happened yet. They may never happen, or my fears could be correct, and it turns into a mess. Either way, it doesn’t matter. I need to focus on the present. I have a dream in my heart, and that usually means there’s a reason. If I concentrate on the task of writing this manuscript and nothing else, then I’m dealing with the only thing that is currently important. Nothing else should interfere. If and when I finish my manuscript and decide to sell it or self-publish, then I worry about that task. What I’ve learned by this process is that other people’s opinions are not my concern. No, I don’t want to hurt anyone, but if I can help other’s maneuver and heal damages that have been done to them, then it’s all worth it. It’s worth it to me to follow my dreams and to help others. Who should stop someone from doing that? No one. No one should stop me if they have my best interest at heart and if they care and love me. If they don’t, then their opinion isn’t my concern.

This approach will work with almost every conceivable issue. Don’t borrow trouble. Work on the task that is before you. Don’t worry about the problems that could happen. They haven’t happened yet. When and if they do, think about this: are they mad or angry because they are living in their own fear? Most likely. Do they have your best interest at heart? Most likely no. Will you do good by following through with your plans? If the answer is yes, I would suggest to go ahead and do it. Most likely, the people that hold you back are at fault for the trauma/abuse that you live with everyday. You may not wish them harm but if your story or your tasks helps others, then it’s worth it. You’ll bring in the right people into your life and keep the ones that cause you harm out.



Making changes

Before we can make changes, we typically have to be in the position of severe discomfort. We no longer feel that our bad habit is worth the price we pay. We are no longer happy with where we’re at and want it to change.

The biggest problem is deciding what changes you want to make.┬áSometimes, we don’t know where to start to make positive changes. We don’t know how to begin.

I would take a chunk of your problem and start there. If you take on too much, it might lead you to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, our problems are too big to take on all at once.

Maybe if you want less stress, you can learn how to meditate or do breathing exercises. Maybe if you snap at your children or loved ones, you can learn to become aware. Maybe if you drink, you can get into a program to help you stop. Sometimes working on your problems means you have to let other people help you. It may feel uncomfortable, but they’ve been there, or they have the skills to help you get out of that trap.

If you have too many problems and don’t know where to start, I suggest something small or moderate. Work your way to the “big stuff.” If the “big stuff” is dangerous, like drugs, it needs to be addressed before worrying about anything else. You can’t properly fix anything unless you are sober.

If you are brave and strong enough (trust me, you really do need to be strong), you can ask your loved ones what traits or habits that you do that are the hardest to be around. When they tell you, because you asked, you can’t yell or become defensive. You need to listen and take it in.

If some of you like to pray, then I’d suggest that. If you don’t like to pray, I suggest you simply give it voice somehow, like journaling or saying it out loud. “I want a different life. Where do I start?” Then, go from there, one step at a time, seeking out knowledge everywhere. You might even start to see answers showing up from different sources and presenting themselves with ease into your life.

These are just a few suggestions that I hope will get you started.